African-American man honored by Sons of Confederate Veterans
by Megan Trotter
COOKEVILLE — In the 1800s, an African-American man named Abe H. Officer was threatened with hanging to reveal the hiding location of two men being hunted by Yankee soldiers, but refused to give them up. This Saturday the Sons of Confederate Veterans plan to honor not only the man’s bravery in that moment, but also the greatness he showed throughout his whole life.
“There were 200 Yankees who came up to the farm and started shooting at some Texas rangers that were there,” said Ken Tyler, member of the Captain Champ Ferguson chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The soldiers were searching for two men named Johnny King and John Officer, but 32-year-old Abe Officer hid them away in the attic.
“It was made to be hidden really well,” Tyler said. “The wood blended really well — it just looked like there was nothing there. … (The Yankee soldiers) took him out to a big oak tree and was going to hang him.
“They said, ‘Tell us now where John Officer is at’ … and he said, ‘Don’t you believe to save my life that I’d tell you where they were at?’”
The memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. at the old church located on Officers Chapel Road, just behind and to the right of 111 Storage Units in Cookeville and is open to the public.
For more information about the event, call Tyler at 931-397-4635.
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